I think this is the point where the far left and the far right come together. Or at least try to.
The above cacophony of colors and fonts is making the rounds on social media. No indication of creator or sponsor; “Vermonters Against Unconst. Lock-downs & Tyranny” is either brand new or fictitious. A Google search produces no matches. Dive down this rabbit hole at your own risk.
The Burlington “flash mob” event follows a rally at the Statehouse this past Saturday which, by my count, attracted maybe 30 people. I wasn’t there, but a participant uploaded a nine-minute video of the rally on BitChute, a “free speech” alternative to YouTube that’s welcomed many who’ve been banned by mainstream social media sites, including shouty conspiratorialist Alex Jones. The video plays under the headline, “Covid is a Fraud and We Know It.”
The speakers at the Montpelier event included Newport print shop owner Mike Desautels, who has lost his UPS affiliation and his court battle against the state’s mask mandate. (The video’s narrator claimed that Desautels is $15,000 in the hole for legal fees, and pleaded for donations to Desautels’ GoFundMe page.)
Another speaker was Shylo Bourdeau, co-owner of a farm in Lowell. The video includes a short passage from her speech, which I transcribed to the best of my ability.
They can’t stop us by convention in this oath of office allegiance. And the importance of as established by convention in this oath is them swearing to uphold the Constitution as established by convention for we, the people, was removed. So who are they swearing to? Who are they holding their allegiance to, with that removed?
Your guess is a good as mine. At that point, someone in the audience helpfully shouted “Rothschilds,” so there’s the Protocols of the Elders of Zion George Soros World Jewish Conspiracy which funded the creation of coronavirus in a Chinese lab, I guess?
After the jump: All the rabbit holes in one convenient location!
The BitChute video is credited to “www.802freedom.com,” which was a new one on me.
So I clicked, and there I discovered what seems like an attempt to draw all the freedom-and-conspiracy-loving Vermonters under a single banner, including
- Covid denialists
- Gun-rights activists
- Conservatives fed up with Gov. Phil Scott
- Doomsday preppers
- Participants in a September “Evidenciary Hearing” [sic] of the Vermont Tribunal for Justice, which seems to believe that Vermont’s government is illegal.
This is the spot on the political spectrum where the far left and the far right meet, somewhere beyond the orbits of the inner planets.
The 802freedom website includes links to multiple petitions, including: the one posted by Essex Republican chair Ron Lawrence calling for the removal of Phil Scott from the VTGOP, one seeking to overturn the state’s mask mandate, and one seeking to restore the religious exemption for vaccinations (which seems to have vanished from Change.org).
There’s also a link to the Vermont Mask Survey, which is a real piece of work. I wrote about it last July, after seeing a flyer stapled to a Montpelier utility pole. The survey was entirely one-sided; it listed a bunch of alleged ill effects of mask-wearing, and asked respondents if they experienced those effects all the time, some of the time, or never.
The VMS issued a fall report, indicating it had received 62 responses: 21 participants reported experiencing harmful effects every time they wore a mask, 31 said “occasionally,” and 10 said “never.” The report dismisses the “occasionally” responses as being part of a coordinated effort to slant the survey. And it omitted the “nevers” entirely, because “the target population of this survey are people who do experience difficulties.”
Ah, the scientific method. Crumpled into a ball and tossed in the circular file.
Back to 802freedom. Once, a few years back, I was in a Statehouse hallway chatting with Ed Cutler, who was then president of Gun Owners of Vermont. He was complaining that he spent more time and energy trying to get his members on the same page, than on his advocacy work against gun legislation. I believe he compared it to herding cats.
Well, 802freedom is trying to herd a bunch of herds of cats. These are Vermont’s fringiest characters, who only have one belief in common: suspicion of authority and organization. I think I can safely predict that 802freedom will fail.